National Volunteers’ Week: celebrating 1,000 hours of volunteering in our hospitals every week | Latest news

National Volunteers’ Week: celebrating 1,000 hours of volunteering in our hospitals every week

This year’s National Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say a heartfelt thank you to over 800 volunteers at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) who give over 1,000 hours of their time volunteering every week.

National Volunteers’ Week, which runs from Monday 3 June until Sunday 9 June, is a chance to celebrate our volunteers and thank them for the invaluable support they provide to staff and patients.

This year marks 40 years since National Volunteers’ Week was launched. The milestone allows volunteers and staff time to reflect on volunteer achievements and gives us an opportunity to thank our volunteering community.

NUH has over 100 different volunteering roles, such as gardening, meet and greet, and charity.

Robert Richmond has lived in Nottingham almost his whole life and has been volunteering at NUH for 25 years. Robert was a patient at NUH in 1996, undergoing open heart surgery. Whilst recovering as an in-patient he contacted switchboard to find out how he could volunteer.

He said: “I have seen the NHS change drastically over my time as a volunteer; from being an admin volunteer on the haematology and oncology wards transporting physical notes, to now being a meet and greet volunteer.

“Being a volunteer really helps my confidence, it gives me responsibility and fantastic companionship with other volunteers and staff. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the team at NUH, meeting so many great people and seeing the amazing care that takes place.”

Gilly Hagen, a patient and public involvement volunteer, has been volunteering for 16 years. Before volunteering Gilly worked within the NHS for 12 years and is a long-term patient at City Hospital.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my consultant in pain management. She has given me a purpose in life and now I want to give back. That is why I started volunteering for the Pain Team at City Hospital, running a support group for service users and offering peer support.

“I then went on to support patients referred to City Hosptial for cancer treatment, supporting those with complex pain and have been one of the Nottinghamshire NHS Patient Leaders since 2011.

“Being a voice for patients with ‘lived experience’ when looking at commissioning and planning services, gives me a reason to get up every day, speaking to others and making a positive change.

“There is such a large diversity in volunteering roles, everyone can find their own way to contribute using the skills they have. I am now starting my 16th year as a volunteer, and I still have lots to give back to the service that keeps me living.”

Gilly has recently been awarded a British Empire Medal for her voluntary work and in particular her support for patients during COVID-19. During the pandemic Gilly arranged a voluntary transport scheme to GP and hospital appointments and later to Covid vaccines.

Kerry Harper, Volunteers Service Manager, said: “Meet and greet volunteers at the entrances to our hospitals are people’s first point of contact, offering reassurance and assistance.

“Our volunteers are more visible than ever, with their polo-shirt and high visibility jacket, offering a smile and helping patients, visitors and staff wherever possible. Volunteering plays a significant role within NUH and we are extremely fortunate to have such a high volume of committed volunteers and volunteer groups.”


Find out more about the volunteering opportunities at NUH on our website

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